Simplifying Dessert

When fresh fruit is in season, I love using it in desserts. If I have the time, homemade pies and cakes often make an appearance. Sometimes, as a special treat, I will put together some fantastic ice cream, but that requires several steps and special equipment. When I'm in a pinch (and that happens more often than I'd like), I turn to crisps. And when I'm really strapped for time, I go the easy-peasy route:

What makes this crisp particularly easy? Well you toss sugar and gelatin mix with fruit in the casserole dish you're going to bake it in. Then, you toss the topping ingredients into a plastic container with a lid, snap the lid on, and shake it until the crumb topping forms. Open that, sprinkle the topping on, and bake it for about an hour. It's particularly nice to pop it in the oven while you enjoy dinner and clear the table afterward. Then, just when you're ready for it, you have delicious, warm rhubarb crisp! Add ice cream or whipped cream (if you want, but I always want) and call it dessert. Easy-peasy!

I've given a recipe for a rhubarb crisp, but this same method works well with all kinds of berries, apples, pears, peaches, and more. Mix up the flavors of gelatin to help complement the fruit you choose. You can always add a little cinnamon or other spice to the topping, too. Swap granulated sugar for brown sugar for a different twist. So the next time you're craving a fruity dessert, but don't want to fuss, just turn to this nifty little recipe. You'll thank me for it!

Easy-Peasy Rhubarb Crisp

  • 4 c. chopped rhubarb, ends and greens removed
  • 1 pkg. strawberry gelatin
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. rolled oats

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

Clean and chop the rhubarb and place it in the casserole dish. Add the contents of the gelatin package and 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar to the rhubarb. (You can use less granulated sugar if you prefer a tarter crisp.) Stir the rhubarb, gelatin, and sugar until the rhubarb is evenly coated. Set aside.

Place the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, and the remaining ingredients (vegetable oil thru rolled oats) into a resealable plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Place the lid on the container and shake the contents vigorously to create a crumbly topping. Sprinkle the topping over the rhubarb in the casserole dish.

Bake the crisp for 45-60 minutes or until the topping is crunchy and the rhubarb is softened and bubbling. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour

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